In the last couple years as the economy has made a comeback, the aftermarket automotive industry seems to keep to growing. This year, the 2014 SEMA Show was no exception. The show was bigger than last year. That translates to hundreds of thousands of people packing the exhibit halls to look at the products of over 2,500 manufacturers. According to SEMA, which stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, the aftermarket automotive industry brings in $33.4 billion dollars. Major companies like Ford Motor Company are directly involved with manufacturers helping support products that make their vehicles look good. It’s also important to remember that this is a global industry with over 130 countries represented. This massive show takes at least four days to see everything. There’s plenty of flashy, fancy, and bling! Here’s a little taste of what Dirt Sports + Off-Road found.
SCORE at SEMA
SCORE International made a bit of history during the SEMA show. For the first time ever, SCORE held qualifying for the Baja 1000 in Las Vegas. SCORE kicked off its Baja events with a huge display of trucks and buggies just in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the open of the SEMA Show. SCORE even built a mini version of the famous Mike’s Sky Ranch complete with tacos and beer on the convention center property. Trophy trucks lined the display, shined up, fully prepped, and ready for action.
In the afternoon, a press conference was held to build up the buzz of the Baja 1000 and qualifying event. SCORE took things a step further, working with Las Vegas Metro Police to shut down major streets from the convention center to Las Vegas Motor Speedway so the Trophy Trucks and a few Class 1 vehicles could drive in a parade fashion to the track.
Once at the track, fans packed the grandstands for the qualifying event. The course included a lap around the short-course facility, a long stretch out through the parking lot, then into the bullring, which is a 3/8-mile paved oval track typically used for late-model events. The course then had a long straightway dropping the trucks back into the short-course for another full lap with the checkered flag flown underneath a finish arch lined with Baja 1000, SCORE, and sponsor banners.
Twenty trophy trucks and four Class 1s qualified in Las Vegas for the Baja 1000. While several Trophy trucks were fast throughout the night it seems the best was saved for near last. Robby Gordon went out and set a blazing-fast time of 3 minutes and 52 seconds, giving him the top qualifying position. Gordon won a $2,500 qualifying award. Just a few seconds behind Gordon was Rob MacCachren. While Gordon will start the Baja 1000 out front with no dust and clean air, he will have MacCachren, Bryce Menzies, and BJ Baldwin who are all top picks to win the Baja 1000.